When Newsweek does scriptural exegesis you know it is going to be a laugh riot. This time it is to lambaste religious conservatives for using scripture to defend marriage.
You can just about guess the approach they will take. Yes they went the polygamy route. As if the Old Testament had glowing support of polygamy, when in actuality scripture showed how it always lead to problems. Yes the stories of Jacob’s wives and how Solomon’s wives lead him to sin are endorsement of a scriptural view of polygamy.
They even go on to say that Jesus never defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Matthew 19:3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?" He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."
I guess referring to Adam and Eve as the original intent of marriage is too hard to grasp or that male and female are always the related terms. Funny how in all of salvation history there are zero examples of homosexual relationships portrayed positively. Rather strange if homosexual acts are part of God’s plan.
But Sola Scriptura used by secular reporters will go just as stray as when used by Protestants. They can cherry pick verses or just give different interpretations to verses harder to ignore and say such nonsense as:
… condemnation of men who "were inflamed with lust for one another" (which he calls "a perversion") is really a critique of the worst kind of wickedness: self-delusion, violence, promiscuity and debauchery.
This from a person they call a "progressive theologian." Of course a progressive theologian is one that explains away scripture instead of explaining it.
Though the whole article with their use of scripture and quoting only those who agree with their premise means zero to Catholics anyway. It is scripture and apostolic tradition as interpreted by the magisterium that is the key to Catholics anyway, or at least for Catholics that understand the nature of the Church. Opposition to homosexual acts and same-sex marriage is something that can be learned from the natural law without resorting to scripture.
But this type of article from Newsweek Religion Editor Lisa Miller is nothing new, just more of the same.
“Of course a progressive theologian is one that explains away scripture instead of explaining it.”
Curt Jester: 1
Ignorant reporters: 0
“Opposition to homosexual acts and same-sex marriage is something that can be learned from the natural law without resorting to scripture.”
Right on, Jeff.
Lisa Miller strikes again. She’s absolutely horrible. I let my Newsweek subscription expire because of her. It’s not just that I disagree with her; she’s objectively wrong about most things.
How ironic. I just read about and posted about a new ‘Gay’ Bible that’s coming out (no pun intended) in 2009. I’m sure Newsweek will cover it favorably.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Back in the day when Kenneth Woodward (author of “Making Saints,” about Catholic hagiography and canonization), maybe the best English language religion reporter of the time, was the lead religion writer for Newsweek it could be counted on for solid and reasonably unbiased reporting.
This piece fits into Newsweek’s continuing abandonment of its origins as a news magazine in favor of featuring a handful of specialized opinion writers. It has become mostly editorial page with precious little to edit.
As someone who grew up reading Newsweek, I must respectfully dissent from the idea of this foolishness as a “laugh riot.” It is really quite sad to me.
It’s right to refer to the natural law and not just Scripture or the constant teaching of the Church. Recommended reading for Lisa Miller : What We Can’t Not Know by J. Budziszewski
That article was so awful that I couldn’t read it in one sitting! On the upside, it provides us with at least a year’s talking points in defense of marriage. Each of Lisa Miller’s assertions could prompt a BOOK in defense of God’s design for marriage.
Of course, it will take some time for us to get past the “WHAT? WHAT? IS SHE NUTS?” stage so that we can respond coherently…
This is why I cancelled my subscription many, many years ago to Newsweek. And when my USNews & World Report expires, it will not be renewed.
Both Protestant fundamentalists and secular fundamentalists approach the Scripture in much the same way: completely devoid of anything resembling a critical methodology. The former have managed to keep some doctrines and much morality unsullied because, though they don’t like to admit it, they have retained some of the traditional faith.
If one attempts to understand ancient Rabbinic arguments according to Aristotelian standards one is dooming one’s self to failure at the outset. Similarly, if one attempts to find definitions of things in the Bible according to modern standards of defining things, then one is certainly going to miss a great deal.
Or again, consider Rudolph Bultmann’s attempt at restructuring St John’s Gospel. For this radical, 20th century, German Lutheran, imbued as he was with Hegelian philosophy, the attempt made perfect sense; the problem was that St John was not a 20th century, radical German Lutheran endowed with the spirit of Hegel. Just because Bultmann didn’t find modern literary styles in the Last Supper Discourse doesn’t mean there is no literary style there. It just means Bultmann didn’t recognize it.
The Structure of the Last Supper Discourse (note how it is a reverse parallel built around as central hinge):
A1) 13:1-32 Jesus’ hour has arrived. Love unto the end. The mission of the Apostles. Jesus’ glorification.
B1) 13:33-14:31 Jesus is going away. The counselor/Holy Spirit will be sent. Asking in Jesus’ name. Jesus leaves his peace.
C) 15:1-25 Jesus is the true vine, the disciples must stay united with him. Hatred and persecution of the world.
B2) 15:26-16:33 Jesus is going away. The counselor/Holy Spirit will be sent. Asking in Jesus’ name. Jesus leaves his peace.
A2) 17:1-26 Jesus’ hour has arrived. Love unto the end. The mission of the Apostles. Jesus’ glorification.
With respect to your statement “But Sola Scriptura used by secular reporters will go just as stray as when used by Protestants. They can cherry pick verses or just give different interpretations to verses harder to ignore and say such nonsense…”. Please do not pigeon-hole all Protestants as agreeing with a homosexual lifestyle/agreeing with any definition of marriage other than between a man and a woman. I am Protestant (UCC, in fact) and believe the same as you, as do MANY of my fellow church family members.